Dorset Council carried out a Community Governance Review of parishes in the Dorset Council area during 2021 and spring/summer 2022 but draft recommendations relating to Weymouth and surrounding areas and Vale of Allen were withdrawn so that further public consultation could be carried out and a separate Review for these areas was undertaken.
The Community Governance Review of Weymouth and surrounding areas and Vale of Allen has now been completed and the relevant Orders and maps are available for public inspection at the Council offices at County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ during normal working hours.
The changes set out in the Orders will take effect on 1 April 2024. The first elections under any new community governance arrangements will take place on 2 May 2024.
You can read about the Community Governance Review below.
What is a Community Governance Review?
A Community Governance Review is a legal process where the council will consult with those living in the area, and other interested parties, on the most suitable ways of representing the people in the parishes identified in the review. This means making sure that those living in the area, and other interested groups, have a say in how their local communities are represented.
What the review can and can’t change
The review can consider one or more of the following options:
- creating, merging, altering or abolishing parishes
- the naming of parishes and the style of new parishes and the creation of town councils
- the electoral arrangements for parishes (for instance, the ordinary year of election; council size; the number of councillors to be elected to the council, and parish warding)
- grouping parishes under a common parish council or de-grouping parishes
- other types of local arrangements, including parish meetings
The review cannot:
- change the number of councillors on Dorset Council
- change Dorset Council ward boundaries
- change the amount of money that a parish council raises through your council tax (known as ‘precept’)
Who carries out the review
Dorset Council is statutorily responsible for carrying out this Community Governance Review. Formal decisions as to the Terms of Reference for the Review and the recommendations arising from the Review will be made by Full Council.
Why we are having a review
The Guidance on Community Governance Reviews issued by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government published in 2008 recommends that principal councils should undertake a Review of its area every 10-15 years. For some areas of the Council, a Review had not been undertaken for some time and, following the creation of Dorset Council, it was deemed appropriate to undertake a Review of all parishes within its area.
Dorset Council carried out a Community Governance Review of parishes in the Dorset Council area during 2021 and spring/summer 2022 but draft recommendations relating to Weymouth and surrounding areas and Vale of Allen were withdrawn so that further public consultation could be carried out. A Community Governance Review is now being undertaken for those areas only.
A Community Governance Review offers an opportunity to put in place strong, clearly defined boundaries, tied to firm ground features, features, and remove any parish boundaries anomalies that may exist.
What the review will focus on
A Community Governance Review is required to take into account:
- the impact of community governance arrangements on community cohesion; and
- the size, population and boundaries of a local community or parish
The council is required to ensure that community governance within the area under review will:
- be reflective of the identities and interests of the community in that area; and
- be effective and convenient
Any other factors, such as council tax precept levels, cannot be considered.
How the review will be carried out and how you can make representations
Before making any recommendations or publishing final proposals, the council must consult local government electors for the area under review and any other person or body (including a local authority) which appears to the council to have an interest in the Review.
The council will therefore:
- publish a Notice and Terms of Reference
- send a copy of the Notice and these Terms of Reference to all parish clerks and to the Dorset Association of Town and Parish Councils
- send a copy of the Notice and these Terms of Reference to the local Member of Parliament
- inform local groups and interested parties
The council recognises that the development of strong, sustainable communities depends on residents’ active participation in decision making in respect of the governance arrangements of parish councils, and the council is therefore committed to engaging effectively with the diverse communities it serves and to enabling local people to participate meaningfully in the creation of effective community governance arrangements where all people feel able to take an active part in influencing service delivery.
The timetable below sets out dates for 2 periods of public consultation. The first period of public consultation, based on the Community Governance Review consultation paper, ended on 28 December 2022 and you can view the initial submissions/representations received. A report of draft recommendations was considered by Full Council at its meeting on 14 February 2023 and you can view the minutes of the meeting. The second period of consultation, on the draft recommendations agreed by Full Council on 14 February 2023, ended on 17 April 2023 and you can view the submissions/representations received. A report of final recommendations was considered by Full Council on 11 May 2023 and you can view the minutes of the meeting.
Timetable for the review
The council has to complete the Community Governance Review within 12 months from the day on which it publishes the Terms of Reference. A Community Governance Review is concluded on the day on which the council publishes the final recommendations made by the Community Governance Review.
Any changes adopted by Full Council will take effect on 1 April 2024. The first elections under any new community governance arrangements will take place on 2 May 2024.
|Report to Full Council
|Thursday 20 October 2022
|Council approves the principle of the Community Governance Review and its Terms of Reference.
|Publish Terms of Reference
|Thursday 27 October 2022
(The CGR must be completed within 12 months of the date of publication).
|Publish Terms of Reference and notify stakeholders of the commencement of the Review.
|Prepare draft consultation document and invite initial submissions
|1 November 2022 – 28 December 2022
Initial submissions invited:
Publish proposals on Dorset Council website.
|3 January 2023 – 3 February 2023
|Consider any submissions/representations and prepare report of draft recommendations for Full Council on 14 February 2023.
|Publish draft recommendations
20 February 2023 – 17 April 2023
Publish draft recommendations for further consultation with:
Publish draft recommendations on Dorset Council website.
|Make final recommendations
|11 May 2023
Full Council meeting
|Consider any further submissions/ representations and prepare final recommendations for report to Full Council.
|Publish final recommendations
|Publish final recommendations and make Order.
- view the report to Full Council on 20 October 2022 and accompanying minutes
- view the Notice of a Community Governance Review - Weymouth and surrounding areas and Vale of Allen
- view the Terms of Reference - Weymouth and surrounding areas and Vale of Allen
- view the Community Governance Review consultation paper
- view the submissions received during the initial period of consultation from 1 November to 28 December 2022
- view the report of draft recommendations to Full Council on 14 February 2023 and accompanying minutes
- view the draft recommendations agreed by Full Council on 14 February 2023
- view the submissions received during the second period of consultation from 20 February and 17 April 2023
- view the report to Full Council on 11 May 2023 and accompanying minutes